Datapages, Inc.Print this page

AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Jurassic and Cretaceous Carbonate Geology and Stratigraphic Plays in the Rub’Al Khali Basin, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Craig Harvey1; Abdul-Hameed Azzouni1; Henk Droste2

(1) South Rub Al-Khali Company Ltd, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

(2) Shell International Exploration & Production, The Hague, Netherlands.

The South Rub ‘al Khali Company Ltd is an Incorporated Joint Venture between Shell Saudi Ventures Limited (50%) and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (50%) and was set up in order to explore for non-associated gas in the South Rub ‘al Khali Basin as part of the Natural Gas Initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Building on its Paleozoic play mapping in Contract Area 1, SRAK has also been developing and inventorizing Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphic play opportunities, driven in part by the successful exploration at similar stratigraphic levels in neighboring countries. This study presents a comprehensive evaluation of this play potential. We will outline our ground up approach moving from well-based work to conceptual geological models to integration with seismic to delineate potential reservoir seal pairs and stratigraphic plays that help to build a risked portfolio of leads and prospects.

Key to our understanding has been the integration of published and in house regional knowledge. The Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphy has been assessed in over 30 offset wells using a sequence stratigraphic approach combining available biostratigraphy, sedimentology, structural and well log data. Correlation of wells and basic seismic screening have enabled the development of conceptual geological models and gross depositional environment time slice maps for the Jurassic Tuwaiq Mtn Formation through to the Upper Cretaceous Aruma Fm.

Major breakthroughs included the identification of Middle Jurassic progradation directions, location of the Upper Jurassic platform margin, subsequent Lower Cretaceous prograding clinoform system and later interior platform conditions. These depositional patterns have been linked to major tectonic events. Depositional features including reservoir and source rock distributions in the Lower Cretaceous Shuaiba to Upper Cretaceous Aruma package have also been delineated. In total 15 potential stratigraphic play types have been identified in Contract Area 1 of which many have been high graded or down graded dependent on seismic quality. The regional geological work presented here forms the basis for both regional and prospect scale seismic interpretation work.